UFC Hall of Fame: 25 Future Inductees
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the most prestigious organization that a mixed martial artist can compete inf and an induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor the promotion can bestow.
The list of men who have made it into the UFC Hall of Fame is a short one, but there is no doubt that all of the members deserve their spots.
Here's a list of all the inductees so far: Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Charles Lewis Jr. and Matt Hughes.
Without a doubt, all of these men have done a lot for the UFC and for the sport of MMA in general.
Let's take a look at 25 individuals who will, most likely, be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Quinton Jackson is former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and has been a consistent for in the light heavyweight division since entering the UFC in 2007.
He is 7-2 with the promotion and both his losses were close fights.
The UFC always appreciates fighters who play ball and do a good job of hyping fights and Jackson has always done hat for them.
He has also helped the company out by coaching in two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.
Andrei Arlovski is one of the most successful heavyweight competitors in UFC history.
He's put on a ton of exciting fights in the UFC and is a former title holder.
I'll admit that Andrei is one of the iffier picks on this list, and it'll probably be a while before the UFC puts him in the Hall of Fame if they do; but I think he'll squeak in.
Wanderlei Silva is a fighter that the UFC might hesitate to put into the hall due to his lack of overall success with the company, but I think lobbying from the fans will get him in.
He doesn't have the best win/loss records in the UFC, but Silva always puts on a good show for the fans.
The UFC is always appreciate of a fighter who earns favor with the fans because it ultimately helps them make money.
This one is a hopeful pick.
It's common knowledge that Pat Miletich and Dana White are not on good terms, so I wouldn't be surprised if Pat never makes it into the Hall of Fame.
That said, it will be a travesty if he doesn't.
Miletich is a pioneer of the sport and also the first ever UFC welterweight champion.
In his day, Pat was one of the most dominant figures in the sport and, whether or not he actually makes it in, there is no questioning that he deserves a spot in the HOF.
Vitor has been fighting for the UFC on and off for more than a decade.
He was a big draw for the UFC when he started with them in 1997 and he is still a big draw for them today.
Belfort has had a storied mixed martial arts career and at one point managed to capture a UFC championship.
It's clear that the promotion still thinks very highly of Vitor, as they granted him a middleweight title shot earlier this year, despite him not having any fights in the UFC's middleweight division.
Don Frye is one of the greats from the early days of the UFC.
He is a two-time UFC tournament winner and three-time finalist.
Don also has the second greatest mustache in the history of MMA.
Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta
Nowhere does it say that you need to be a fighter to be in the UFC Hall of Fame.
In fact, one non-fighter, Charles Lewis, has already been added.
So, if people who were important to the sport, but weren't actual competitors are eligible for induction, then Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta have to go in.
These are the two men who, along with current UFC President Dana White, purchased the UFC back in 2001 when the company was going bankrupt.
They completely turned the business around and are largely responsible for the popularity and success of mixed martial arts today.
Tank Abbott is one of the most exciting fighters from the early days of the UFC.
I could talk about why I think he'll make it into the Hall of Fame, but I don't think that's necessary, given that Dana White has already guaranteed him a spot.
Rashad Evans may not be a fan favorite, but his success as a mixed martial artist is undeniable.
Despite being one of the smallest competitors on the show, Evans managed to win the second season of The Ultimate Fighter.
At that point in his career, Rashad was undefeated and he would stay undefeated for quite some time.
In 2008, with a record of 12-0-1, he took on Forrest Griffin for the light heavyweight championship and won the fight by third round TKO.
Evans has been fighting the toughest competition in his division for years now and he still has only one loss on his record.
Given Tim Sylvia's decline as a fighter since leaving the UFC in 2008, people tend to forget how dominant a fighter he once was.
Tim is a two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion and kept the heavyweight division interesting through some pretty dark times.
As far as he may have fallen, Sylvia is one of the greatest heavyweight to ever step into the Octagon and no one can take that away from him.
Joe Silva is the UFC's matchmaker and, in some ways, that makes him the most important part of the company.
Any UFC fight you have ever watched was either Joe Silva's idea, or approved by the man himself.
For the years and years of entertainment that Joe has provided MMA fans, a Hall of Fame induction seems like the least that can be done to honor him.
Jens Pulver is in the same boat as Tim Sylvia; his career has declined significantly so people forget how good he once was.
Pulver was the UFC's first lightweight champion and has defeated tough competition such as Joe Stevenson, Dennis Hallman, BJ Penn and Caol Uno.
He's been a part of many exciting fights in the UFC and also coached a season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Frank Mir is a company man.
Since joining the UFC in 2001, he has not fought for another MMA promotion.
Mir has coached a season of TUF, guest commentated for live events and always does a great job hyping his fights.
His willingness to work with the UFC to give them what they want, coupled with the fact that he's been a consistent threat in the heavyweight division for years and is a former champion practically guarantees Frank a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Stephan Bonnar has never been a UFC champion, or even fought for a title.
In fact, he's never really made it past the mark of gatekeeper.
So the question is: Will the UFC put Stephan Bonnar into the Hall of Fame, purely based on his epic fight with Forrest Griffin back at the TUF 1 finale?
I'm thinking, yes.
Any time that fight is brought up, Dana White talks about how it's the most important fight in UFC history and did so much to boost the sport's popularity.
I think White is grateful enough to Bonnar for that fight to put him in the hall.
If Bonnar makes it, then Forrest Griffin is a shoo-in.
Not only was Forrest a part of the most important fight in UFC history, he has since risen to a main event status fighter and held a UFC championship.
Griffin is beloved by the fans and done his part and then some to help make the sport what it is today; Hall of Fame material, if you ask me.
Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg
Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg are the best commentating team in mixed martial arts. Together, they have overseen more than a thousand UFC fights.
People sometimes criticize Goldberg, and it's true he has made his share of mistakes, but he has drastically improved as a commentator over the years.
The chemistry between Joe and Mike is excellent and they have been calling UFC fights now for so long that it would just feel weird to have anyone else do it.
Sean Sherk is one of the most under-appreciated fighters in the sport.
He boasts a record of 36-4-1 and all four of his losses have been to fighters who have held UFC championships.
Sherk is a former lightweight champion and one of the best to ever fight in that division.
Some have speculated that Sean might not make the Hall of Fame because he was busted for using steroids at one point, but I don't think that will keep him out. Royce Gracie has tested positive for banned substances before and he was allowed in.
Ken Shamrock has already been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, so it makes sense that his more successful brother, Frank Shamrock, will also get the nod.
Frank was the first ever UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and defended the belt four times before vacating the belt, citing a "lack of competition" as his reason for giving the belt up.
It's common knowledge that Tito Ortiz and Dana White don't have the best relationship, but I don't think Dana would let his personal issues with Tito interfere with putting him in the Hall of Fame.
Tito is a former light heavyweight champion and holds the records for most defenses of that belt with five.
Despite going five years without a victory at one point in his career, Ortiz is still one of the greatest fighters to ever step foot in the cage and there is no doubt in my mind that the UFC will recognize that fact by putting him in the HOF.
Rich Franklin is the definition of a company man; pretty much his entire career, Franklin has done whatever the UFC asked of him.
Rich took time out of his middleweight championship reign to be a coach the second season of the Ultimate Fighter.
He has fought two catch-weight fights at 195 lbs. that he didn't stand to gain much from, but needed to happen because the fighters were making their way down to middleweight.
Rich also jumped in last minute to finish off coaching the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter when previous coach Tito Ortiz was forced to drop out.
Franklin has a great relationship with the UFC, has been competing with the best in the world for a number of years and is also a former middleweight champ.
BJ Penn is one of the best ever.
He is one of only two men to win UFC championships in two different weight classes, and that fact alone would probably be enough to get him into the Hall of Fame.
However, there's a bunch more reasons you could put Penn in the hall.
Not the least significant of which is, he had the longest and most dominant lightweight title reign out of all the fighters who have held that belt.
Georges St-Pierre is the most dominant welterweight in the history of the MMA.
Georges is the current UFC Welterweight Champion and has defended his belt six times.
He has only been defeated twice in his career and decisively avenged both losses.
St-Pierre is also a massive PPV draw and has made the UFC a ton of money.
It's so obvious that Anderson Silva will make it into the UFC Hall of Fame that I shouldn't even need to say it.
But just in case someone reads this who is pretty much completely new to the sport of MMA, here's a few factoids.
Anderson Silva has the records for most consecutive wins in the UFC, most consecutive title defenses and the longest championship reign.
He is undefeated in the UFC and has only come close to losing once inside the promotion.
Oh, and most of the time, he wins with a spectacular knockout.
Given that Dana White seems to be the person in charge of who does and does not make into the Hall of Fame, I'm not sure he would be willing to put himself in, as some people might view it as arrogant.
That said, there is no one that deserves to be in the HOF more than this man.
Dana took over control of the UFC in 2001, along with Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and has done more than anyone else to make MMA as popular as it is today.
White sometimes comes off as brash in the public eye, but he is a brilliant business man, and you have to appreciate how open he is with the fans.
Most company CEO's won't put themselves in the front lines of the media as much as Dana does, for fear of bad press, but White is always making appearances, doing interviews and keeping the fans updated with what's going on.
Dana White might be the most important man in the history of mixed martial arts.